Friday, May 29, 2015

Writing - Skytrain Gunfight in Two

Writing - Skytrain Gunfight in Two

“Take your shot.”

I stand on an empty train platform at 1 in the morning, having just exited the skytrain. My back is to a man who has been following me for the last seven stops, and the walk through downtown along West Georgia. He is in his late 30s, he has a non-descript backpack and a sling bag, black jeans, t-shirt and boots.

He stops. We stand frozen for a moment.

I open my arms wide. Presenting my back.

“Take your shot.”

His fingers twitch, the right hand then. I turn slowly, carefully. “You have a Sig P226 in your bag, I can tell by the way it swings. Either that or you have a heavy piece of metal wrapped in cloth for some reason. Your 226 has a rails attachment for a silencer, I saw when it hit you in the side two stops back.”

He almost smirks, to play it off.

I meet his eyes with a gaze that is dead to the world.

He stops.

“Take your shot. But there are four cameras watching us.” I point them out. Vancouver train terminals are some of the most watched surveillance in the world. Automated systems and all that. “There are at least two operators now paying attention, possibly a third. One of them is poised with his hand over the system PA to ask what is going on.”

I continue holding my arms wide. “If you shoot now, there will be three witnesses. Two recordings at minimum, both of which will need to be scrubbed. If you shoot now, there will be an armed response in less than 4 minutes, we are too close to the airport for it to be otherwise. There are a lot of places to hide sure, but they’ll close both bridges and you’ll have to find another way off.”

He almost flinches. Still uncertain. I place both my hands behind my back, patient, waiting.

“But take your shot. That’s what they paid you for isn’t it? Take out one man, just one. A larger sum of money than you’ve ever been paid for this kind of job. You never asked why. You never thought to ask why I was worth so much money, or if I would fight back.”

I pace, he tracks me with his eyes.

“How many others have you preyed on this way? Inconsistent husbands? Whistleblowers? Thieves of men and women’s property. People who hold little secrets best left unsaid? Ah.”

He looks over his shoulder, his left one. He looks to see if anyone else notices, but we are alone.

He looks back to me, I wait to take another step in my pacing.

“Take. Your. Shot.”

He moves then, goes for the sling bag. It was unzipped, good prep that, clean. The sound of metal sliding past neoprene, he pulls the safety as it goes.

The rapport of the gun is loud in the station, the flare of orange bright against the sickly blue-green of synthetic light. But I have already moved, the bullet parts the air where my chest was a microcosm before. It shatters against reinforced glass behind me, sending a myriad spiderweb of cracks encased in a plastic decaling.

I squeeze just once, and a blossom of red explodes outwards from his chest.

I rise from my knees, as he slides backwards and topples, some kind of still-rigid oak in his bones. The P226 clatters against tile, his bags fall in a heap.

I walk away.